KEENE, N.H.—UMass Boston men's basketball fell into an early deficit and could never quite dig themselves out of the hole, as the Beacons fell 92-77 to host Keene State College in their Little East Conference opener.
Keene State College 92, UMass Boston 77
(UMass Boston 4-0, Little East 0-1)
(Keene State 3-2, Little East 1-0)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Beacons missed their opening 10 shots to fall into a 10-0 holem and could never quite overcome the early deficit.
UMass Boston cut the deficit to as few as two late in the first half and three points early in the second stanza.
Sophomore Michael Boyd (Malden, Mass.) recorded a team-high 20 points on 7-15 shooting.
Fellow sophomore Kevin Nunez (Dorchester, Mass.) added a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds in his first career LEC conference contest.
Charlie Mitchell (Boston, Mass.) was the final Beacon to finish in double-figures. The sophomore guard recorded 11 points on 7-9 free throw shooting.
Keene State College Preseason All-American Ty Nichols led all scorers with 25 points, to go along with his six rebounds and six assists.
James Anozie added 21 points and 10 rebounds for the hosts. Miguel Prieto and Edwin Ezedonmwen tacked on 10 points apiece.
Keene State opened the game on a 10-0 run, despite missing six of their first 10 shots. The Beacons were forcing turnovers and running with the Owls, but couldn't break the seal on the hoop until Javaris Hill (Lynn, Mass.) hit a layup 5:51 into the game.
UMass Boston trailed by 8-13 points for much of the half, until they went on an 11-0 run late in the stanza.
Nunez and Boyd combined for nine of the 11 points, including the opening nine. Nunez hit a jumper and then added a layup, before Boyd converted on a 3-point play. After two Nunez free throws, junior Mark Munroe (Quincy, Mass.) chipped in with two free throws of his own to make it 33-31 with 3:02 left in the half.
The two teams traded threes late in the half, with Boyd's triple cutting the deficit to 41-36 at the break.
Nunez recorded a layup to open the second half to cut the deficit to 41-38, but Prieto and Devon Beasley knocked down back-to-back threes to extend Keene's advantage to 47-38.
UMass Boston wouldn't get closer than seven the rest of the way, as the Owls extended their lead out to a game-high 15 points in the final five seconds of regulation.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston finished the game shooting 36.8 percent (25-68) from the field, 23.5 percent from distance (4-17) and 60.5 percent from the charity stripe (23-38).
- The Beacons held advantages in rebounding (46-35), offensive rebounding (26-11), second-chance points (29-8) and bench points (26-20).
- With the loss, the Beacons have now lost seven-straight games against the Owls. Keene leads the all-time series 42-13.
- Wednesday night's game was a rematch of the LEC Semifinals from last year.
UMass Boston will play the other team picked tied for first in the LEC Preseason Coaches' Poll, when they travel to take on Eastern Connecticut State University on Saturday at 1 p.m.